GEELONG has held off a surging Melbourne outfit to claim its second win of the season.
CATS BOUNCE BACK Full match coverage and stats
The Cats recorded a three-point victory, but Melbourne kicked three of the last four goals of the game and came close to stealing the points.
The third term proved crucial for Geelong as they kicked four goals to one on the way to the final score line of 7.5 (47) to 6.8 (44).
Midfielders Sam Menegola (25 disposals), Cam Guthrie (24 disposals and a goal), Patrick Dangerfield (22 disposals and a goal) and Joel Selwood (23 disposals) were crucial in setting up the win.
Geelong's defence was valiant for most of the day, but the win was soured after star defender Tom Stewart left the game with a suspected broken collarbone.
The Cats now face a challenging block of games, with the in-form Suns, Saints and Magpies all to come over the next three weeks.
Melbourne will be aiming to bounce back with road games against Sydney and Fremantle, before a round seven match up against the Western Bulldogs.
Ruck duo stand up to Dees skipper
Geelong's ruck pair of Darcy Fort and Esava Ratugolea were never going to beat Melbourne's Max Gawn in the hit-out category, but their contributions were vital. Fort opened the game with a huge contested mark and kicked the first goal of the game, while Ratugolea snagged one of his own with a 55-metre bomb in the third term. Fort came in as the replacement for the injured Rhys Stanley and held his own with 19 hit-outs to Gawn's 34.
Switched-off midfielders and forwards are coach killers for Demons
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin must have been frustrated with the lack of communication and defensive structure from his midfield and forward groups. Dangerfield was able to find a wide-open Mitch Duncan in acres of space early. Luke Dahlhaus was then able to give an easy hand off for a running Dangerfield in the third term as the star launched one from outside 50. Both goals were easily preventable, but the Demons were caught napping on both occasions.
Unheralded defender is just as crucial to Melbourne's backline as Lever and May
While Jake Lever and Steven May stand as the key pillars in Melbourne's defence, it's the versatility and speed of medium defender Joel Smith that was just as vital to holding Geelong to a low score on Sunday. Smith went without a disposal in the first quarter but played as the deepest defender and provided two stops on Dangerfield when he floated forward.
MELBOURNE 0.1 2.3 3.5 6.8 (44)
GEELONG 2.1 2.2 6.4 7.5 (47)
Melbourne: Brayshaw 2, Fritsch, Petracca, Hunt, McDonald
Geelong: Hawkins, Fort, Duncan, Ratugolea, Dangerfield, Parfitt, Guthrie
Melbourne: Oliver, Viney, Petracca, Gawn, Brayshaw, Tomlinson,
Geelong: Guthrie, Menegola, Dangerfield, Selwood, Parfitt, Duncan
Geelong: Tom Stewart (collarbone)